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Ruskin College accused of ‘victimising’ trade union reps

first_imgIn a statement, Ruskin College said: “Disciplinary investigations are internalstaff disciplinary matters which are entirely unconnected with any trade unionactivity of those involved. It would be wrong for any institutionto seek to discipline or suspend a member of staff as a result oftheir union activity; the notion that Ruskin College, the home of tradeunion education for more than 100 years, would do so is absolutelyinconceivable.  Ruskin UCU says that staff and students were not consulted on the move to shrink the college’s higher education programme. In a statement, the union said: “We firmly believe the college is being wound down for merger. This will see multi million pound assets, prime Oxford real estate and working-class resources built up over 120 years given free to the private sector.” The adult learning institution, which is affiliated to Oxford University, has been embroiled in an official dispute with UCU over its treatment of staff. The college, which has traditionally maintained strong links to the trade union movement, has recently moved to scrap trade union courses and to casualise teaching contracts in a bid to stem falling student numbers. The branch also accused the college offailing to carry out stress risk assessments for staff, in violation of their legalduties. Speaking to Cherwell,Dr Humber said: “Everywhere in the country I went to speak to people andaddress meetings support was fantastically genuine and warm. Of course, coupledwith this positive end of proceedings were – initially at least – feelings ofanxiety. UCU have criticized the college’s restructuringproposals on the grounds that falling student numbers are a result of poor managementrather than staffing costs or course content. Ruskin College received a 90% studentsatisfaction rating for the quality of its teaching in 2018, but just 35% forthe quality of its management – the lowest in the country. No data is availablefor 2019. These proposals led to a voteof no confidence in the college’s Principal in April, which was passed “unanimously”by Ruskin College’s UCU branch. The college’s business development plan has resulted in a pivot away from secure, long-term contracts towards the hiring of temporary and insecure agency staff. In 2018, the college spent 19% of staffing costs on contracted workers, compared to just 5% in 2015. These changes saw Ruskin College placed on UCU’s “list of shame” for academic institutions undermining staff pay and job security through casualisation. Two days after organizing the vote, Dr Humber was suspended from his post as a lecturer in health and social care. The Ruskin UCU branch said at the time: “We believe that Lee is being victimised in order to intimidate us as a union branch. This is utterly disgraceful behaviour from the management of a college with such deep roots in the trade union and labour movement.” The campaign to reinstate Dr Humber has attracted the support of ten union leaders and the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. In a statement following Dr Humber’s suspension, Ruskin UCU said: “We believe that Lee is being victimised in order to intimidate us as a union branch. This is utterly disgraceful behaviour from the management of a college with such deep roots in the trade union and labour movement.” Ruskin College did not respond to a requestfor comment. “Then, at last, we’ll be out of the Alice in Wonderland world of Ruskin-based disciplinary procedure, where they’ve consistently made up policy and process to suit their own ends, and on into the world of ACAS and Employment Tribunals where there are real rules by which both parties in this dispute must abide.” Speaking to Cherwell, Dr Humber praised“the absolutely fantastic amount of support I got from colleagues in the UCU,from the union leadership and from the thousands of other trade unionists whowrote their support and invited me to address their branch and union meetings.”center_img Dr Lee Humber was suspended from his position as a lecturer in health and social care in April, just two days after organising a vote of no confidence in the college’s principal, Paul Di Felice. After months in limbo, Humber was fired last week, prompting outrage from the UCU. Ruskin College denies that the dismissal was related to Dr Humber’s trade union activity. In that time, the number of in-house staff has fallen from 75 to 55. Ruskin UCU allege that more than 80 staff, disproportionately women, have left during that period, including three entire senior administrative and recruitment teams. The union allege that this high turnover isthe result of a “climate of uncertainty, stress and fear” created by thePrincipal. The text of the no-confidence motion passed by the group states: “Alarge number of women have stated in exit interviews that they are leavingdirectly because of the Principal.” In a separate incident, the Ruskin Students’ Union was forced to relocate its May ball to a local pub after what it described as “poor, bureaucratic management” of their budget by the college. Ruskin College have been accused of ‘victimising’trade union representatives after a University and College Union (UCU) branch officerwas fired in mysterious circumstances, and four others are due to be maderedundant. Asked how he wasinformed of his dismissal, Dr Humber said: “A simple letter. It was the 43rdletter they’d sent me (in the first 50 days of my suspension) arriving on theFriday as so many of their meant-to-be intimidating communiques had. It was nosurprise to any of us. “It was clear from the very start thattrade unionists and many, many others understood that this as an attack on meas a trade union officer, on our UCU branch and on the national uniongenerally.” “I worried about how Iwas going to support my family, whether the stress the dispute bought on mewould infect my young kids, about what would happen in the future. Thankfully,due to the great resilience of my family, itself underpinned by the incredibledepth and breadth of support we received, we’ve all grown out of it and we’refacing the future with great optimism.” “Trade unionmembership at Ruskin is actively encouraged among the staff and there arecurrently four unions well-represented in College. Contrary to claims, thevote of no confidence in March was not unanimous, even among UCU members,and was supported by less than 20% of staff. Ruskin College remainsthe largest provider of trade union training in the UK with up to 3,000 repstrained each year.” “They made variousallegations all of which we refuted in great detail in a 14-page document wesent to the disciplinary hearing. They’ve dismissed our refutation. We’ve nowappealed against this decision and they’ll turn that down too. Last week, Ruskin College’s management outlined a further phase of restructuring to take place before the new academic year, including the discontinuation of four of the college’s six higher education courses in a bid to make the college less reliant on trade union teaching for its income. All five employees due to lose their posts as part of these changes are UCU Branch Committee members, which has led to accusations that union activists are being targeted.last_img read more

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Around the Schools: Harvard Business School

first_imgIn business and personal negotiations, you may hold your own while negotiating dozens of successful deals. Even so, you want to take your game to the next level. What’s the next step?There are plenty of guides that offer tips on negotiation strategies. As useful as these are for a grounding in the fundamentals, they don’t always fit the complex, ever-changing deal situations that occur in today’s business environment. Harvard Business School (HBS) professor Guhan Subramanian is working to fill that gap by examining complex deals where negotiators are fighting on multiple fronts — across the table for sure, but also on the same side of the table with known, unknown, and potential competitors.This winter, Subramanian will publish “Negotiauctions: New Dealmaking Strategies for a Competitive Marketplace” (W.W. Norton), a book that draws on his experience studying and advising on complex corporate transactions and high-stakes personal ones, such as buying a home or car. The first Harvard faculty member to hold tenured appointments at both Harvard Business School, where he is H. Douglas Weaver Professor of Business Law, and Harvard Law School, where he is Joseph Flom Professor of Law and Business, Subramanian is the faculty chair for the new HBS Executive Education course “Managing Negotiators and the Deal Process,” taking place this week (Nov. 8-13).last_img read more

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Pandemic cuisine: Odd pairings, old favorites on the menu

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — Kimchi? Beets? Broccoli? The pandemic has had a strange impact on food cravings that goes beyond the joy of comfort eating. Nearly a year into isolation, many people are embracing foods they’d long forgotten or rejected. Others have forced themselves to re-evaluate despised, health-focused foods as a way to help boost their immune systems. And with home cooking at a high, many are feeling more adventurous in the kitchen. Suddenly, that organic lentil and mushroom soup that didn’t sound so appealing pre-pandemic has become part of weekly meal routines. Fermented foods are on trend. So are nostalgic, kid-friendly ones like raisins.last_img

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Honeymoon in Vegas Begins Broadway Performances

first_img Honeymoon in Vegas Ready to win big? Honeymoon in Vegas begins performances at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre on November 18. The new tuner features a score by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Andrew Bergman. Gary Griffin directs a cast led by Tony nominee Rob McClure, stage and screen favorite Tony Danza and Broadway.com vlogger Brynn O’Malley. Opening night is set for January 15, 2015. Based on the 1992 film, Honeymoon in Vegas tells the story of Jack Singer (McClure), a commitment-phobe who finally proposes to his girlfriend Betsy (O’Malley). The couple heads to Vegas to get hitched, but when the smooth talking gambler Tommy Korman (Danza) falls head over heels for Betsy, he arranges for Jack to lose big in a poker game so he can claim the bride-to-be as his own girlfriend. The company also features David Josefsberg, Nancy Opel, Matthew Saldivar, Matt Allen, Tracee Beazer, Grady McLeod Bowman, Barry Busby, Leslie Donna Flesner, Gaelen Gilliland, Albert Guerzon, Raymond J. Lee, George Merrick, Jessica Naimy, Zachary Prince, Catherine Ricafort, Jonalyn Saxer, Brendon Stimson, Erica Sweany, Cary Tedder and Katie Webber. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on April 5, 2015 View Commentslast_img read more

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Australian energy provider plans big switch from coal to renewables

first_imgAustralian energy provider plans big switch from coal to renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:The Australian government-owned energy provider Snowy Hydro this month announced a major switch to renewables in a series of “game-changing deals.”The company said in a press release that it had signed eight wind and solar contracts, totaling 888 megawatts of peak power and around 2.8 terawatt-hours of energy a year, that would provider cheaper electricity to 500,000 households. The capacity is due to come online between now and 2020 and will replace the mainly coal-based energy that Snowy Hydro sources from Australia’s National Electricity Market to power pumped hydro storage and resell directly to customers at times of high demand.Snowy Hydro — which owns energy retailers Red Energy and Lumo Energy that serve more than 1 million customers — is one of the largest energy buyers on the National Electricity Market. It purchases around 3 terawatt-hours of electricity a year to supplement the 4 terawatt-hours produced from its own generating assets. “Just like households, we are exposed to high wholesale prices,” said the company.“The new renewable energy generation, ‘firmed’ by existing Snowy Hydro assets, is a game-changer and will push down future energy prices,” said Snowy Hydro in announcing the deal. “This will bring on significant new energy supply and therefore much-needed competition to the market, and will enable Snowy Hydro to pass on lower wholesale prices to our customers.”As a result of the switch from the National Electricity Market to renewable power, Snowy Hydro will offer energy to customers at a flat rate of less than AUD $70 (USD $51) per megawatt-hour, for up to 15 years starting in 2020. This compares to a first-quarter 2020 electricity price of AUD $98.50 (roughly USD $72) a megawatt-hour in New South Wales and AUD $108 (roughly USD $79) per megawatt-hour in Victoria, according to ASX energy market trading data cited by The Sydney Morning Herald.Snowy Hydro said the move to renewables was prompted by “rapid changes” in the National Electricity Market over the last 12 months, along with an ongoing drop in the price of renewable energy.More: Australia’s Snowy Hydro makes ‘game-changing’ leap from coal to renewableslast_img read more

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Ultimate Summer Gear Giveaway

first_imgRules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on July  31, 2016 – date subject to change. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and their promotional partners reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before July 31, 6:00 PM EST 2016 – date and time subject to change. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received. Sign up for your chance to win this complete summer gear package from our friends at ELIE, Mountain Khakis, Native Eyewear, Tenkara USA, and Chaco! The winner will be drawn on Monday, August 1st. Good luck!This contest is complete.last_img read more

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Adult Adventure Camp

first_imgSummer Camp isn’t Just for Kids AnymoreIncreasingly, grownups are looking for weekend retreats focused on nature, physical activity, and community. So in 2017, a collection of adult adventure camps called The Pursuit Series was born. In 2019, the Series will head east to Brevard, N.C. for the first time.During the three-day weekend outdoor adventure festivals, which will take place in three locations this year, including Asheville, Pursuit encourages those with a curiosity or affinity for the outdoors to try a new, different challenge, surrounded by 500 fellow outdoor adventure seekers. The base price starts around $499, which includes all activities, courses, meals, alcohol, and coffee.Whether learning how to change a flat tire on a mountain bike, read a compass, or rock climb, the outdoors is transformed from an unknown or intimidating endeavor to a fun, conquerable experience. And the best part, according to many past attendees, along with choosing your own adventure each day, is meeting a new community of young, old, male and female.Last year, Allison Desir, founder of Harlem Run and Run 4 All Women, attended a Pursuit Series weekend with her husband and two friends from Harlem Run. But initially, it took a lot of convincing.“I was intrigued, but I wasn’t a very outdoors person and I didn’t see myself in that environment,” Desir says. “Despite being a runner, I’m a New Yorker. I almost didn’t go.”However, once she and her group arrived, Desir immersed herself in trail running, a class on packing a hiking backpack, stand-up paddleboarding, and more. The variety and depth of courses helped her feel more empowered, Desir says, while also educating her. “After that experience, I was like, ‘I love this. I want to do everything outdoors,’” Desir says.Once she returned home, Desir kept in contact with one of the yoga instructors from her Pursuit weekend. In December, Desir completed her certification to become a yoga instructor. “I wasn’t a yoga regular, and I’m still not particularly flexible,” Desir says. “But it’s that mental shift that Pursuit taught me–as I challenge myself more, my mind shifts to ‘what else can I do that I thought I couldn’t?’”Last year, all three Pursuit Series weekends sold out. In 2019, in addition to the two western locations (Snow Basin Resort in Utah, Bear Valley in Northern California), the Pursuit Series will head to the Green River Preserve near Brevard, N.C.“When you have these barriers that people overcome, that sense of community and connection creates this bond,” says Julia Stamps Mallon, one of the series’ founders. “You see an amazing group of incredibly diverse backgrounds coming together around the campfire each night and talking about what they did that day. And there’s something magical in that.”last_img read more

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Ice to blame for car hitting Chenango Valley school bus

first_img11:46 A.M. UPDATE: Captain Newcomb says the students are being evaluated by EMTs. —– PORT DICKINSON (WBNG) — Captain Kate Newcomb of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office tells 12 News a car backed into the bus on Phelps Street. —– In a statement sent to 12 News, the district says the students were returned to Port Dickinson Elementary School after medical evaluation. The sheriff’s office says the students were then transported to Port Dickinson Elementary and further evaluated by the school’s nurse. This is a developing story. Stay with 12 News for further updates. 11:06 A.M. UPDATE: Additionally, the district says parents and guardians of the students on the bus were contacted. To follow-up on an accident that occurred this morning (2/21/20) involving a Port Dickinson Elementary school bus and a vehicle. As per our district procedures, all students involved were evaluated by the school nurse and/or EMT and returned to the elementary school. The parents/guardians of all students involved were contacted. Thank you to all of our CV staff and local emergency responders for their assistance and support at the scene. PORT DICKINSON (WBNG) — The bus that was involved in a crash with a car Friday morning belonged to the Chenango Valley School District. PORT DICKINSON (WBNG) — Emergency crews are responding to a car and school bus crash on Phelps Street.center_img Both vehicles were damaged from the incident, they say. However, they were both driven from the scene. —– 10:28 A.M. UPDATE: PORT DICKINSON (WBNG) — The Broome County Sheriff’s Office says three students were evaluated by EMTs on scene. The school district says 23 students were on board the bus at the time. PORT DICKINSON (WBNG) — According to the Hillcrest Fire Department, the car that struck a Chenango Valley school bus slid on 25 feet of ice on its’ driveway. Dispatchers told 12 News that the Broome County Sheriff, Broome Ambulance, Hillcrest Fire and Port Dickinson Fire are on the scene. 9:17 A.M. UPDATE: —– The full statement can be read below: Dispatchers were unable to confirm any reports of injuries.last_img read more

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Sempra feeds gas to Cameron LNG train 1

first_imgSempra Energy said that Cameron LNG started feeding pipeline gas to the first liquefaction train of the LNG export project as it prepares to start production at the facility in Hackberry, Louisiana.This is the final commissioning step for Train 1 of Cameron LNG Phase 1, Sempra said in a statement.Lisa Glatch, chief operating officer of Sempra LNG and board chair for Cameron LNG, said, “Sempra Energy is now one step closer to reaching our goal of building up to 45 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG export capacity to serve global markets.”Following authorization received from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Friday, April 5, allowing the introduction of pipeline feed gas, Cameron LNG will begin ramping up the feed gas deliveries to the facility as it completes the commissioning process.Phase 1 of the Cameron LNG liquefaction-export project, which includes the first three liquefaction trains, is a $10 billion facility with a projected export of 12 mtpa of LNG, or approximately 1.7 billion cubic feet per day.Cameron LNG Phase 1 is jointly owned by affiliates of Sempra LNG, Total, Mitsui & Co., and Japan LNG Investment, a company jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corporation and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK).  Sempra Energy indirectly owns 50.2 percent of Cameron LNG.Cameron LNG Phase 1 is one of five LNG export projects Sempra Energy is developing in North America.Cameron LNG Phase 2, previously authorized by FERC, encompasses up to two additional liquefaction trains and up to two additional LNG storage tanks.Sempra is also developing Port Arthur LNG project in Texas and Energía Costa Azul (ECA) LNG Phase 1 and Phase 2 in Mexico.last_img read more

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Vineyard Wind Obtains Grid Link Construction Permit

first_imgThe Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) has approved petitions filed by Vineyard Wind for construction and operation of electric transmission facilities within the Commonwealth that will deliver electricity generated at the 800MW Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm to the regional power grid.Approval of the project’s transmission cables and interconnection substation by the EFSB, which is administered by Department of Public Utilities (DPU) staff and chaired by the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, represents another significant milestone in the development of the United States’ first commercial-scale offshore wind generation facility, Vineyard Wind Said.The project continues to move ahead with public and regulatory review through more than 25 federal, state, and local approval processes. It remains on schedule to begin onshore construction in 2019 and become operational by 2021.“Today’s decision is another critical step forward as Vineyard Wind moves toward beginning on-shore construction later this year,” said Laura Beane, President and CEO of Avangrid Renewables, a partner in the Vineyard Wind joint venture. “The future of the American offshore wind energy industry is rising in Massachusetts thanks to the commitment of many stakeholders to deliver competitive solutions to climate change, and we remain committed to delivering environmental benefits and economic opportunity through our investment.”In April, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved long-term power purchase contracts between Vineyard Wind and Massachusetts’ electric distribution companies (EDCs) for the delivery of electricity generated at the wind farm.Vineyard Wind LLC, the owner and developer of the project, is a joint venture partnership between Avangrid Renewables and the Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.last_img read more

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